Monday, June 28, 2010

Padding - The Downside


Is padding good? We pad many things in our lives. Its done at every level of society. But mostly, I see padding as something that is done to us. We have corporations doing it to us, to our detriment. And we also do it to ourselves, usually to our detriment.

What is padding? Its filler, its something that isn't the main ingredient. One definition makes it as an artifact consisting of "soft" or resilient material used to fill, or give "shape" or used to protect or add "comfort".

Let's drop the part about comfort, protection, or shaping. For our purposes here, I'm really only concerned with the other elements.

Television is a prime example of an industry using padding. Look at the commercial breaks in a TV show. The segments frequently now end with a preview of what is coming up. The next segment opens with a recap of what just happened. Are we really that God awful stupid that we have to know what's coming up or we'll forget we're watching a show or switch off it? If its that bad, we should switch it off. Are we too stupid to remember what we just saw before the commercial break? Really?

Click. I fast forward through a lot of TV shows, not just the adverts but the fillers too. By doing that, I save myself hours of viewing time every week. Thank God for Tivo. I find that TV shows now are typically 40-42 minutes long, with the commercials taking up far too much time and many don't even notice the padding, wasting even more. On the up side, I'm impressed with what they can do with a half hour TV show now a days, making it look like an hour show (and calling it such). But the quality suffers nonetheless.


Like, fat. Fat is nothing more than padding. Only that's one where we do it to ourselves. We don't need it. Its not pleasant. Its just extra weight to carry around. It clogs our arteries, or its associated with elements that clog them. It costs the U.S. billions of dollars a year in wasted resources: extra material for fat sized clothing, extra gas and jet fuel for lugging the extra weight around, mass amounts of extra food to feed those heavy jowls, not to mention, medical costs, wear and tear on floors, shoes, and it hurts the eyes. And lowers the quality of your own life.


Like, Government contracts. Contractors have been padding bills for their Government contracts since the beginning of time. When it gets excessive, the Government, law enforcement, step in and take them down. But typically, its never noticed. Because its done in such a way that it simply can't be noticeable. Its a personal responsibility. A corporate responsibility. But "responsibility" is a dirty word now a days. Make a buck, any way you can; so what if you are unethical, immoral, damage, ruin, or make dirty, Air, Water, Earth? The Environment is there for our abuse and ability to enrichen us in any clever way we can devise. And it decreases the quality of everything Government related for every citizen.


Like, at work. Time. We get coffee, but take too long. Stay in the bathroom, too long. Spend more time on a project extending its finish, longer than necessary. In doing these things, we cost the company money, we keep bonuses smaller, we restrict more people being hired, leading to layoffs that are bigger even if only by one person, or smaller paychecks even if slightly so, and less modern equipment. It decreases the quality of work produced.

That's padding for you.

Americans are a padding elite, padding experts, and padding aesthetes.

It can hurt, cost us, ruin, destroy, kill even. So consider, the next time you have an opportunity to skim off the top, to steal a few minutes you really don't need to (and hey, taking some "Mental Health days" off, or a few minutes to maintain your sanity, IS a good thing, but I'm talking about pure waste here); just think about it, and give some back, pay it forward, increase all of our lifestyle quality.

Try giving back. Try just not taking so much.

Be a Hero.

Tomorrow: Padding - The Upside

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